A quarterly specialized journal
The Message Of Folklore from Bahrain To The World

An Institute for Heritage in the Arabian Gulf: One Way to Honour Our Culture and Serve Our People

Issue 43
An Institute for Heritage in the Arabian Gulf: One Way to Honour Our Culture and Serve Our People

Kuwait has made significant contributions to the arts and music; it is at the forefront of the artistic movement in the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula. Students in the Gulf and the Arab world are drawn to Kuwait by the Higher Institute of Musical Arts, the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts, and by all the facilities that the country has to offer.

Kuwait’s Ministry of Information appointed the most highly qualified Arab experts in theatre and music to manage and teach at these two institutes. They intend to promote the theatre and arts movements, to create new horizons for Kuwait and the Gulf states, to change society's view of the arts, and to encourage young Arabs in the Gulf to develop their visions, ideas, and aspirations for the future.

 Bahrain’s Ministry of Information has contributed by awarding scholarships to these institutes to the best high school graduates and other talented students. Over the years, a new generation of theatre students has graduated and helped to promote theatre in Bahrain with high-quality productions for television and the cinema. Other performing arts students have excelled in the musical arts such as singing and composing. Some of these distinguished students have chosen to pursue higher studies abroad.

Anyone who considers the outcome and progress of the theatrical and musical movements in Kuwait – with its famous artists, numerous theatres, and diverse groups of performers – will realise the influence of these two institutes, which still play very important roles.

 People in the media should realise that in our countries their work is nothing more than a quick response that achieves temporary goals with no long-term impact. Well-organised culture and education are the most influential fields. The Kuwaiti media combined the media requirements of an emerging country with the establishment of cultural and artistic movements; we are still enjoying the fruits of their success.

 Today, with the encouragement of pioneers in the field of heritage, and with great vision and political support, the Emirate of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates is taking the initiative by establishing the Sharjah Institute for Heritage, which will specialise in teaching folklore and related studies. This initiative is an official move to ensure that local and world cultural heritage receive the respect that they deserve. This will impact the emirate and the entire region.

 Such institutes cannot succeed and survive without political and financial support and excellent planning. His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has provided tireless support for cultural activities within and beyond the emirate. For him, heritage is the hub around which other activities revolve.

 This is evidenced by the annual Sharjah Heritage Days; the establishment of Sharjah Heritage Village, which occupies a vast area and offers a variety of services; the Arab folklore corpus; the establishment of the Sharjah International Cultural Heritage Award; several local and international folklore festivals; and the establishment of representative offices for international non-governmental organisations related to folk culture – including the IOV, CIOFF, and ECOSOC – in Sharjah.   

 Distinguished Arab experts were chosen to develop the institute’s vision and curricula and to support education and training so that the institute receives the highest academic ranking.

 Headed by Dr. Abdulaziz Abdulrahman Al Musallam, Chairman of the Sharjah Institute for Heritage, and with the continued follow-up of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, the Sharjah Institute for Heritage will compete with other influential institutes in this field.

 This is one way to honour our culture and serve our people.


Ali Abdullah Khalifa




All Issue